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Media Tips

Bill Hopkins shown being interviewed for a television feature

Flagging emphasizes what you consider most important.

Types of flagging statements:

"The most important thing to remember is…"
"We know through research that…"
"What’s unique about our approach here at Virginia Tech is…"

Bridging helps you move from what may be a reporter’s notion of the story ahead of time to your message goals.

General bridging statements:

"That’s an interesting question, but the real opportunity is…"
"While ___________ is important, it’s also important to remember that…"
"Before we leave this subject, I want to add…"

At any point, feel free to contact the Media Relations team for assistance or guidance. We're here to help!

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The video above is geared toward individuals who need to record themselves on their smartphone, but most of the same principles apply. (You can participate in Skype/FaceTime/Zoom video calls on most smartphones, but try to use a dedicated laptop or computer if you can.)

  1. If possible, use a hard-wired internet connection. This will limit internet speed being an issue. Most wireless internet setups above 5 Mb/sec will be sufficient, but the reliability of a hard-wired connection is valuable if possible.
  2. Try to position your laptop or computer nearly at your eye level, and don't sit too close to the screen or camera. That way, it doesn’t look like the camera is looking up under your chin or nostrils. Raising it up on books or some other stable platform can help accomplish this. 
  3. Look straight into the camera during your interview.
  4. A light source pointing at you from behind the computer will go a long way in illuminating your face and add color to the image.  
  5. Consider what appears behind you as you face the camera. A book case, credenza, or even some Virginia Tech branding looks nice. **  
  6. Be careful not to have an open window or lamp on in the background. Light sources behind you leave your face darker and harder to see. 
  7. Dress professionally — even business casual is okay.
  8. It’s perfectly fine to wear ear buds in order to better hear the interview. Consider using them in just one ear (if they're wired, hang the remaining cord behind you or in your shirt).
  9. Test your microphone before connecting using your application's preferences menu. Ensure there are no background noises (like pets or children, for example).
  10. Depending where you are, you may want to consider a sign for the door indicating “Quiet” or “Don’t knock” because a video interview is underway.

** If you're using Zoom, consider using a virtual background with Virginia Tech branding like the one below. You can also visit this page for more information and to download background images (scroll to "Zoom Backgrounds"). We recommend one of the step-and-repeat backgrounds (the solid-colored orange or maroon backgrounds with the Virginia Tech logo repeating across the background) or the Hokie Stone background.

If you use such a virtual background, try to limit your movement to avoid a "ghosting" effect.